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Maine-Endwell Central School District facing financial frustration

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ENDWELL (WBNG) -- The Maine-Endwell Central School District could be facing financial devastation as the school may lose out on state funding this year.

"I don't want to be dramatic, but to use the word 'catastrophic,' I'm not saying that lightly," said superintendent Jason Van Fossen.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced back in March that because of the economic stress put on the state by the coronavirus pandemic, schools could see their state aid cut by 20 percent.

While nothing is confirmed as of Aug. 31, MECSD says this possible reduction could mean quite the significant impact for the 2020-21 school year.

"We would be looking at $5.6 million state aid loss for that period of time," Van Fossen said. "You could argue it's on the brink of significant devastation if we don't figure out how to fund schools and try to mitigate this current issue that we are facing right now."

Van Fossen says the district relies on state aid to make up for half of its budget, and if the reduction becomes a reality, activities like extracurriculars, elective programming and even athletics could be some elements to go.

"It's all on the table when it comes to these types of reductions potentially, " he said.

The district currently has reserve funds to use for the next month and a half, and Van Fossen is closely monitoring decisions made in congress to help public schools across the country who face a similar crisis.

"The problem is that it's not just Maine-Endwell,' Van Fossen said. "It's 700 school districts across the state that are looking at the same issue."

Van Fossen emphasized the scenarios and numbers are just potential at this point. But despite the possible financial hardships, he and the district are dedicated to being there for students.

"If we're looking at what's good for society, what's good for kids, you need a public education system," Van Fossen said. "Our goal will be to try and continue to provide the best education you can."

To view the a statement by Van Fossen to the MECSD community, click here.

Cal Dymowski

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